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What You Should Know Before Driving an HGV in Birmingham

HGV Training Centre

Want a job where you can give something crucial back to the community, and earn a great wage?
Driving an HGV in Birmingham could be just the career you’re looking for. As a HGV driver, you’ll
be an important cog in keeping the country moving, and you’ll have endless opportunities to explore
the great outdoors behind the wheel.

At a time when demand for HGV drivers is greater than ever, you could find that applying for a job
now could be the best way to improve your chances of earning a huge income in your new field.
There are plenty of great employers offering better wages to HGV drivers with the right skills.

Of course, driving an HGV can come with some challenges to consider too, depending on where your routes are going to take place.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on driving an HGV in Birmingham.

Congestion Charges and the CAZ Rules
Most regions throughout the UK are introducing various congestion charges and other strategies to
help reduce the level of pollution created by heavy vehicles. While we all rely on HGVs to access
important resources like fuel and food, it’s important to consider the environment too.

The rules for HGV drivers in Birmingham might not be as strict as those in other locations like
London, but there are some special policies and regulations you need to be aware of.

The most important and recent charge to be implemented in Birmingham is the “Clear Air Zone” fee. The CAZ, or Clear Air Zone, is a designated area within the central area of Birmingham. When
driving in and out of this area, you will need to pay a fine if you’re using a highly polluting vehicle,
such as a lorry or truck.

The CAZ is designed to reduce the amount of pollution around heavy trafficked areas in the heart of
Birmingham, and it requires HGV drivers to pay a fee of £50 when moving through the zone.

While the Clean Air Zone doesn’t cover all of Birmingham, there are various parts of the city where
you may need to pay this fee, particularly around the roads of the A45450 Middleway Ring Road. It’s best to check the Birmingham council website when planning your routes to determine whether you will need to pay the fee.

It’s also worth checking with any clients or companies you’re working with about who should be
paying the CAZ fee. While some providers will pay this fee on the behalf of their drivers, others will
require freelance drivers to pay it themselves.

While driving in Birmingham, you’ll also need to be aware of:

  • Additional congestion charge zones: Make sure you’re up-to-date with any changing
    congestion zones and the fees imposed by these areas.
  • Anormal load management: While most roads in Birmingham are equipped to handle heavy
    loads, you may need to contact the city council when managing abnormal loads.
  • Bicycle safety: Practicing good safety measures around cyclists is crucial throughout the UK.

You can join a CLOCS or FORS accreditation scheme for training.

The Qualifications Required for HGV Drivers in Birmingham
The good news is the qualification requirements for HGV drivers in Birmingham are the same as
elsewhere throughout the UK. If you’re moving to Birmingham as an existing HGV driver, you
shouldn’t need any additional training unless you want a different kind of licence.

If you’re starting fresh with your HGV career, you’ll need to start with a full UK driving licence, and
be over the age of 18. Once you’ve received your driving licence, you can:

  • Request a provisional driver’s license, which will include filling out a D4 medical form and
    paying the fees associated with this. Fees can range from £45 to £100.
  • Pass your theory and practical driving exam to ensure you’re ready to drive a heavier vehicle.
    You will need to get the right training before taking this test.
  • Acquire your CPC certificate. This is the professional certificate you’ll need for a career as a
    HGV driver in Birmingham.

The full guidelines for the qualifications required for driving an HGV in Birmingham can be found on the government website here. You should make sure you leave plenty of time to get your accreditation before applying for a role, as it can take several weeks to complete every step.

It’s worth taking some time to get to know the roads of Birmingham when working on getting the
certifications you need for your career. You can also think about the kind of licences you might need
to access for specific careers, such as:

  • Lorry Loader: A licence which allows you to use hydraulic equipment with your HGV
  • ADR: This specialist licence allows drivers to transport dangerous goods such as fuel.
  • Category D: This is a licence for driving passengers on a coach or bus.
  • Category C1: A licence intended for driving vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes.
  • Class C: Designed for driving vehicles more than 7.5 tonnes with a rigid base
  • Class C+E: Intended for driving vehicles weighing more than 7. 5 tonnes with a detachable
    element or trailer.

You will be required to renew your licence every five years in Birmingham, and do 35 hours of
training to complete the renewal. When you turn 65, renewals are required every year.

What’s the Earning Potential in Birmingham?
Like many regions throughout the UK, Birmingham is currently dealing with a significant HGV
shortage. As such, you may be able to access a higher-paying job by applying at the right time.
However, the amount you earn will generally be based on the kind of work you do, which companies
you choose to work with, and your experience level.

In Birmingham, some companies may offer jobs to applicant sonly when they have more than a year
of experience, but it’s less common for this to be the case during the current skill shortage.

With some directors of HGV driving companies seeing a drop of up to 75% in applicants, you should
have a relatively easy time finding a well-paying job. Within as little as 2 years, some applicants end
up earning around £50,000 per year.

Are you ready to start driving an HGV in Birmingham? There are countless job opportunities
available for applicants like you when you get the right training. Contact the HGV Training Centre to dive into your new career.

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